Eight-time defending Great Plains Athletic Conference champion and reigning National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ national champion Morningside College was ranked No. 1 on the preseason polls released by the American Football Coaches Association and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Monday, Aug. 5. The AFCA’s assorting was its first such for the NAIA.
Head coach Steve Ryan‘s program earned 366 ranking points and all 16 first-place votes on both lists. Defending national runner-up the Benedictine University of Kansas was second (352) while the University of Saint Francis of Indiana (338), Kansas Wesleyan University (307) and St. Xavier University of Illinois (300) rounded out the first five. Northwestern College (No. 11) and the University of Dordt (No. 24) also represented the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Morningside gained its 29th all-time top merit and 150th straight best 25 mention on the NAIA ranking.
The Mustangs, riding a string of 34 successive conference victories and 29 straight regular-season wins, begin their season Saturday, Aug. 31. The University of St. Francis of Illinois visits Elwood Olsen Stadium for a 12 p.m. kickoff.